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The DIY Summernats reportage

By johnboy 5 January 2009 73

[First filed: January 02, 2009 @ 08:57]

Summernats 2009 has, it seems, commenced.

So dear reader what Summernats experiences have you had this year?

Good, bad, indifferent, just leave them all in the comments. But make sure they’re about this year, and not ancient history.

If you’ve got pictures email them in to images@the-riotact.com

UPDATED: Thank to Hidiho for the picture he took yesterday.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The radio reports Chic Henry was caught doing 77 in a special Summernats 40km zone. Somehow he drove away with a warning.

Further UPDATE: Slideshow provided by NFP below:

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The DIY Summernats reportage
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Granny 2:43 pm 05 Jan 09

Chrispy, one can’t just go around groping people on the off-chance that they won’t mind. If there were even ten in a hundred people who were ok with it, that would still leave ninety feeling violated, cheapened, humiliated and extremely pissed off. It would also constitute sexual harrassment.

I am a warm sort of touchy-feely type, but I would certainly never even hug a person of either gender without some indication that this physical contact would be welcome. Sometimes I get that wrong, and that is awkward, but I certainly don’t believe there is a significant percentage at least of women who would welcome the sort of behaviour you are describing.

BerraBoy68 2:39 pm 05 Jan 09

chrispy said :

A good looking male friend of mine used to love the attention he got from the women at these type of events (and nightclubs). female strangers would put their hands up his shirt to check out his chest. he got groped and whistled at, all the stuff that we are talking about here. I suppose it made him feel superior to me and our friends because he was getting more attention. He was also a confident guy who had no problem managing big projects or making speeches and there was nothing wrong with his self esteem.

I can easily believe that there are females out there that are similar to this mate of mine. You shouldn’t assume that everyone of your sex, religion or whatever likes and dislikes the same things as you.

I’m note sure what drives these people, chrispy. Attention can be nice but also threatening. In another thread I said I used to work security, including events like the Food and Wine Frolic, and as secuity for female strippers. I used to be propositioned all the time by women young and old. In ’91 was a confident and quite muscular 23 year old (as opposed to a still confident but slightly overweight 40 year old). That said, I felt that having females aged anywhere from 15-50 undoing my fly, rubbing my groin and even offering to take me into the bushes for whatever I wanted while working security to be highly intimidating as well as just plain scary.

After a while I worked out if I was just another member of the crowd they wouldn’t have cared about me. What really attracted them was the word ‘Security’ writted across my shirt. I’ve had mates tell me they would have killed to have been in my shoes. I hated it.

peterh 1:49 pm 05 Jan 09

Steady Eddie said :

I like the slideshow. Some great colour and characters in that lot of pics.

why are most of the guys pictured overweight? or overly muscular? seems a far cry from the gangly youths i used to see there… oh, wait, that was me.

chrispy 1:24 pm 05 Jan 09

A good looking male friend of mine used to love the attention he got from the women at these type of events (and nightclubs). female strangers would put their hands up his shirt to check out his chest. he got groped and whistled at, all the stuff that we are talking about here. I suppose it made him feel superior to me and our friends because he was getting more attention. He was also a confident guy who had no problem managing big projects or making speeches and there was nothing wrong with his self esteem.

I can easily believe that there are females out there that are similar to this mate of mine. You shouldn’t assume that everyone of your sex, religion or whatever likes and dislikes the same things as you.

Mr Evil 10:51 am 05 Jan 09

Let’s face it – Summernats isn’t going to change while the “King of the Bogans” – Chic, is still running the show.

blueberry 9:53 am 05 Jan 09

>I just dont get it. Back in my younger(leaner) days, I was always whistled,cheered and leered at-and no I didnt get any part of my body out. Now that Im a bit wiser I wear sensible clothing-jean shorts,3/4 pants etc. I have in the last 3 years been asked once for a chest show.

This was not my experience in any way. I worked there one year when i was 17 i think, doing face painting in the kids area. I was never one to get really dolled up and i was wearing baggy jeans and boring pollo work shirt. Yet still as i walked thought the crowd to try and get some lunch I had heaps of disgusting guys say gross things to me and ask me to lift my shirt i was also groped twice.

poptop 8:59 am 05 Jan 09

Golly, that yellow car in the slideshow just screams AUTOBOT!

ant 10:37 pm 04 Jan 09

Schmerica, you said that in order to be safe, women should cover up. But then you had also mentioned your experience of being attacked, were you not covered up sufficiently?

schmerica_ 9:18 pm 04 Jan 09

I went to Summernats three years ago with a girlfriend of mine. I was wearing jeans, sneakers and a black bonds singlet shirt. By 3:00pm that afternoon, I was being groped, shouted at, pushed and filmed/photographed by disgusting drunk men. I had drinks thrown at me when I refused to lift my top up and even had men grabbing at my top trying to lift it up. I have never felt so unsafe in my life. I refuse to go back and wish the stupid ‘festival’ would go elsewhere (like Perth).

The girls who get up and flash their (mostly saggy) boobs are quite obviously lacking self esteem (and respect) and getting some cheers off some random old bogan men helps them feel good about themselves. And although nobody deserves to be attacked or raped, the girls who wear next to nothing to Summernats are inviting trouble. If you want to be safe, don’t put yourself in that situation. I wish we lived in a culture where women can where what they want, where they want, but lets face it, we can’t. I was wearing my hideous work clothes which covered 90% of my body and got whistled at walking home the day before Summernats began (I live in the Inner North).

I went out clubbing last night and you could tell that Summernats were in town. The bogans outnumbered the ‘normal’ people 10 to 1. Each year, I attempt to make plans to leave Canberra when Summernats is in town. Hopefully it goes elsewhere so I can walk down to my local shops without having to wear full head to toe covering during that weekend.

vg 7:47 pm 04 Jan 09

Will be interesting to see if Chic’s bluff about moving Summernats finally gets called.

People will say that numbers are down due to the economic downturn but look at the reality of that. The only real palpable impact for most people is a loss in your super in the last 12 months (lets not forget the gains of the previous 10 years though). Your average Nats attendee is a long way from retirement (if they have any super at all) so what they have seen, assuming they’re in stable employment, is a lowering of petrol prices (the manna of the gods for car people) and a drop in interest rates.

I would say the drop in numbers is due to 2 things:

a) interest is waning; and
b) Chic has lied about attendance figures for a long time.

Threaten to leave Chic, this time it will fall on deaf ears……or, if you want to make it a fair dinkum car festival ban alcohol. Most if not all people will still go to the footy if they can’t have a beer, surely your demographic can, or can they?

To be honest, bar a little noise last night and having to travel in the vicinity today I would never have noticed it was on. In years past it was a different story.

Summernats Canberra RIP

Overheard 7:10 pm 04 Jan 09

* New Year’s Eve * (not Day, though the former usually dictates a carry-over to the latter). My NYE finished at 6.30am and my NYD started at 7.15am. It was a long day….

Overheard 7:08 pm 04 Jan 09

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

Ant, I don’t think it’s about it being someone’s fault if they’re scantily clad, it’s more in the nature of advice given the current state of things. Of course people shouldn’t get harrassed, but it happens. Dressing sensibly is about making yourself less of a target.

I have to agree with VY here. I made the above comparison between the music festival and the Summernats, and I reckon that the two different “nature of things” environments here do dictate that, sadly, two different approaches need to be taken. At Summernats, covering up would be advisable to avoid unwanted attention whereas at Woodford, the girls can let some of it all hang out and reasonably expect not to be harassed (except on New Year’s Day when a lot of muggles descend from Brisbane and they might have to be more circumspect).

To me, the key word is ‘respect’. (We used that word a lot on New Year’s Eve as MCs when trying to get newbies to respect one of the festival’s major traditions: observing three minutes’ silence half an hour before the year expires, but it applies equally to this discussion.)

I can appreciate that a young woman looks spectacularly beautiful and sexually appealing, but it doesn’t have to extend past pure appreciation. In fact, due to a purely personal rule of thumb, for me it’s even more so for any woman aged (* counts on fingers *) 26 or less. In my world, that constitutes someone for whom I will value as a person, a personality, a colleague, an equal, a friend, a superbly sexual being — but there it endeth.

Call me old-fashioned.

Back more specifically on topic: Channel Nine in Sydney says it may be all over red rover for Summernats in Canberra.

Gassed 5:48 pm 04 Jan 09

I reckon crowd numbers are way down. Last night espically, it used to be absoulty jam packed. Now it was near dead by about 6pm. Not as many cars going around. Usual bad spots being z shed and fitzroy bld area’s. The way it’s going i think the event will die its own natural death.

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